When you started as a plant enthusiast, especially the Elephant Ear plant, there were several things that you researched and practiced. However, there might be nothing that prepared you to deal with a broken plant stem even with all your effort and continued care.
When people think of unfortunate circumstances, they often visualize plant disease, but a broken stem might cause your plant trouble.
Causes of Elephant Ear Plant Stem Breaking
These plants flourish in rather moist soil because they are found near streams and ponds in nature and are affected by excess watering.
Growing them with excess water could lead to eventual stem rot and soft spots, affecting the plants’ stem strength. Since the long stems hold up the aesthetic leaves and flowers, any damages could defeat your purpose of planting the plant.
Check the soil each morning with your finger before feeding your plant. Ensure the soil around your plant is dry up to two or three inches. Aim for the plant’s base instead of watering the leaves.
Inadequate or Improper Lighting
You should be careful when exposing your elephant ear plant to sunlight. A natural tropical plant, the Elephant Ear plant grows well in areas with bright but indirect light.
Planting or placing the plant in the shade for a long period is also dangerous because you might start to notice their leaves turning yellow and becoming bendy. Lack of light might cause the plant to suffer from a sudden partial or complete breakage across one of its stems.
To prevent direct sunlight, you might want to adjust the plant’s position and place it in an area with some shade. To increase the lighting for your outdoor Elephant Ear plant, you could cut away any obstructive branches above to increase its light exposure.
You could also utilize artificial lights for successful Elephant Ear plant development, look into CFL, LED, and HPS grow light lamps.
Rapid Vegetative Growth
For any gardener, faster plant growth might seem good but remember that faster growth might affect the rate of nutrient intake in a plant.
A rapid growth phase, which may be induced by an excess of nutrients such as nitrogen, may result in a deficient internal stem structure, making it more susceptible to breakage.
Given the fact that Elephant Ear plants are heavy feeders, researching and learning the appropriate dosages of critical nutrients such as NPK fertilizers. These elements are essential in order to keep the plant’s stems protected. Transferring some plants to ensure that all plants receive the nutrients and water they require could also help prevent the development of weak stemmed Elephant Ear Plants.
Lack of Nutrients
Adapted to grow in nature, a potted Elephant Ear plant requires more intense care and knowledge to combine appropriate nutrients with the soil over specified intervals.
These heavy feeders require constant nitrogen nutrients to maintain their health and strength, especially to support their long stems.
It is important to note that excessive nitrogen will interfere with the solute concentration that forces water up the Elephant Ear, increasing the likelihood that it will suffer a broken stem.
However, with proper care and nutrition, this hardy plant may be able to successfully regrow a new stem or heal from its wound.
Use Nitrogen, Phosphorous, and Potassium (NPK) fertilizers with ratios 20-10-20 or 20-20-20. The amounts will differ depending on whether your plant is planted indoors or outdoors. Keep in mind to feed your soil with Epsom salts on a regular basis to aid in the absorption of nutrients by your plants.
Elephant Ear plants could also experience stress when left out in the cold. The plant enjoys temperatures of 70°F -85°F (22°C-30°C) during the day and is comfortable above 60°F (16°C) at night.
Freezing temperatures damage both the plant tubers and foliage, including their stem, causing them to break easily.
Maintain the temperature of your elephant ear indoors by keeping it in a warm place. Prevent exposure to cold drafts by keeping the item away from windows and open doors.
How Do You Fix A Broken Elephant Ear Plant Stem?
When your plant stem breaks, you have to choose between two options that will guarantee your plant’s health. You could either completely remove the broken stem or cut it off and wait for a replacement to grow in several months.
You could also resolve to repair the damaged area on the plant using a support system holding the broken area in position for ideal healing.
Of course, these two decisions could be based on the state of your plant stem. Note that the broken plant stem could be either broken but still attached or completely severed.
What Do I Do To A Partially Broken Elephant Ear Plant Stem?
A typical elephant ear plant’s stem that breaks but is still attached repair could be treated with the following procedure:
- Clean your hands or wear gloves before touching the stem to minimize the chances of you transferring bacteria. After this, gently combine the plant’s broken parts and hold them in your hand.
- Sterilize the chosen splint, either a pencil or wooden stick, and then hold it together with the broken pieces.
- Wrap the broken stem together with a sterile piece of plant tape or string. It is important to remember that it should not be wrapped too tightly in order to allow for growth of the stem. Recovery of the stem requires a certain amount of wiggle room.
- Anchor a long object such as a wooden stake in soil and then tie it to the broken region. It offers some extra support for the broken stem and also allows it to maintain an upright position while it heals.
It may take two to four weeks for a bent or partially broken stem to fully recover. Treating and caring for the damaged part of the broken stem as soon as possible increases the stem’s chances of survival.
There’s a chance if you act quickly and follow the steps outlined above you can heal the damaged stem. Here are a few things you need to consider if you want to get rid of the broken part.
- Make sure to use the sterile scissor.
- Carefully cut the Elephant Plant Stem near the base.
By cutting as close to the base as possible, you can prevent the transfer of valuable nutrients to a dead part of the plant. It also encourages the development of new leaves and stems at a faster rate.
Can I grow an Elephant Ear Plant from stem cuttings?
You cannot propagate the lush green heart-shaped Elephant Ear plants from stem cuttings, but you could divide tubers from a healthy and mature parent plant. Before trying to propagate the plant, there are several steps that you should understand, including:
- Digging up your parent plant gives you a better chance at getting good tubers.
- To avoid spreading diseases and infections from the mother plant to the tubers, sterilize your tools, including your pruning knife and gardening shovel.
- Remove the parent plant from its current location with care, being careful not to harm the plant or its tubers.
- Shake or brush the plant gently to remove excess soil before cutting tubers. After brushing, look for tubers that are actively sprouting roots.
- Cut the healthy tubers and place them on the prepared planting surfaces. You can remove any undeveloped tubers from the plant, but leaving some allows the parent Elephant ear to grow faster.
- A large container with good drainage could be used to store harvested tubers. Plunge the tuber into a slightly larger hole in the soil, pointy side up. Add some water and gently pack the soil around the tuber.